Amarillo Columnist Calls for “Honest and Fair” Districting, Voter Registration

Amarillo Global News: “What needs to be done to guarantee that every eligible American can cast a ballot, and be sure that vote will represent his or her true desire for a candidate and be honestly tallied and counted?”

“We have to be sure that there is an honest and competitive offering. This means when dividing up places where voters live, the area is not shaped to benefit one candidate over another (called by the name ‘gerrymandering’), but conforms to the one person-one vote idea — drawn geographically, not politically. Because of human nature, this can’t be a decision by the Legislature. We already know how that has worked. Have an independent commission formed for redistricting. That will make sure everyone who chooses to be a candidate has an equal chance to win, and there is true competition.

“Registration to vote should be simple. Thirteen states are using online registration. When a voter enters his personal information, it is instantly checked against the Department of Motor Vehicles, and must match exactly. It is electronically sent to the election clerk, who enters the individual into the active file.”

“We have to allow each candidate equal exposure. This means that one cannot have an inordinate amount of advertising. Allocating exact matching funds, and paying for debate time will eliminate this inequality.”

“Finally, we have to make sure every qualified voter has a way to vote. Voting itself can be simplified. Voting and locations should be treated like we do early voting. Voters should be allowed to show up at any polling place within the county, and with verification they are county residents and registered, be allowed to vote. Instead of removing voting days, shortening hours and eliminating places to vote, we should consider weekend voting, a voting holiday, mail-in ballots, extended voting days, electronic ballots, early voting and absentee voting. Our sophisticated data base technology can take care of the verification process.”

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